Saturday, March 18, 2017

Veal and Porcini Mushroom Sliders with Dill Slaw

     Gourmet Italian Style Sliders! 
     Alternative meats and wild game are great choices for gourmet sliders.  People are sometimes shy about trying something new when dining out, but when three small sliders on a plate are served, it is an invitation for guests to share a few bites of something new.  Selling a plate of petite portion sliders to table makes it easier to get adventurous guests to try alternative meats, like Bison, Kangaroo, Iguana or just about any other legal animal meat in the proverbial zoo.
     Mainstream customers tend to prefer sliders made with gourmet grades of beef or veal when trying something new.  
     Specialty meats that have a gourmet reputation are a good choice for making sliders.  Kobe Beef, Wagyu, USDA Prime Grade Beef, Black Angus Beef and veal are good choices.  Consumers are familiar with these meats and they are willing to try these gourmet specialty meats if the price is reasonable.  A plate of three petite sliders made out of the highest priced specialty beef still sells for less than $25, so the price is just right for those who want to indulge on a petite portion.

     Dried Porcini Mushrooms Preparation:
     This recipe yields enough to garnish 3 sliders.
     Porcini mushrooms are not easy to find fresh outside of Italy.  Dried Porcini are good for this recipe. 
     Place 6 large dried porcini slices in a container.
     Add 1 cup of water.
     Soak the porcini overnight in a refrigerator, so they fully reconstitute.

     Focaccia Dough Recipe:
     Follow the link to the recipe in this website.  The directions for making the Focaccia Dough are in the Garlic Knots recipe.  Instructions for shaping Focaccia Slider Rolls are in the next step on this slider recipe page.
     • Garlic Focaccia Knots
     Shaping the Focaccia Slider Rolls:
     Step 1:  To make focaccia slider buns with the focaccia dough, cut walnut size dough portions of the focaccia dough.
     Roll each dough portion into an even ball shape.
     Step 2:  Place the dough portions on a parchment paper lined baking pan and space them about 3" apart from each other.
     Brush the dough balls with olive oil, then lightly season with sea salt and coarse back pepper.
     Let the dough balls proof till they are 1 1/2 times their original size.
     Step 3:  Bake the Focaccia Slider rolls in a 425ºF oven till golden highlights appear.
     Let the slider rolls rest for 5 minutes before slicing them in half.
     Dill Slaw:
     This recipe yields about 1 1/2 cups.  (2 portions) 
     Step 1:  Place 2 cups of very thin sliced cabbage in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 tablespoon of small chopped green bell pepper.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced onion. 
     Add about 2 tablespoons of small thin match stick cut carrots for color.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Step 2:  Place 1/4 cup of mayonnaise in a second mixing bowl.
     Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of rice vinegar.
     Add 1 teaspoon of sugar.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of chopped fresh dill weed.
     Stir the ingredients together.
     Step 3:  Add the Dill Slaw Dressing to the cabbage mixture.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     *The cabbage should only be coated with just enough dressing to add flavor.
     Step 4:  Place the Dill Slaw in a container.
     Chill the slaw for 45 minutes before serving.  (The slaw will wilt after marinating.)
     Mix the ingredients together just before serving.

     Veal Slider Patties: 
     This recipe yields 3 slider patties.  (1 portion)
     Step 1:  Place 7 to 8 ounces of ground veal in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 pinch of nutmeg.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and white pepper.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     Step 2:  Divide the ground veal mixture into 3 equal portions.
     Roll each portion into a ball shape.
     Press each portions into mini burger patty shape.
     Step 3:  Chill the Veal Slider Patties till they are needed.
     Sautéed Porcini Mushrooms:
     This recipe yields enough to garnish 3 sliders.
     Step 1:  Drain the liquid off of the reconstituted porcini.
     Cut the porcini mushroom into large bite size pieces, so they will will fit on top of small slider patties.
     Step 2:  Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add the porcini mushroom pieces.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper. 
     Sauté till a few golden brown highlights appear.
     Step 3:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Keep the Sautéed Porcini Mushrooms warm on a stove top.
     Veal and Porcini Mushroom Sliders with Dill Slaw: 
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Veal Slider Patties cook quickly, so it is best to set the garnished slider bun plate before starting to cook the sliders.
     Step 1:  Split 3 Focaccia Slider Rolls in half.
     Spread a thin layer of Dijon Mustard (or aioli) on each roll.
     Garnish each slider roll with:
     - Romaine Lettuce
     - Slice Plum Tomato
     - Thin sliced Bermuda Onion
     Step 2:  Set the slider roll set-ups on the front half of a plate.
     Place a bed of romaine lettuce on the back half of the plate.
     Place a 3/4 cup portion of the Dill Slaw on the bed of romaine.
     Set the plate aside.
     Step 3:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of blended olive oil.
     Place the Veal Slider Patties in the pan.
     Sauté the patties till they are fully cooked and golden brown highlights appear on both sides.
     *The veal sliders should be flipped twice to prevent excess browning.
     Step 4:  Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
     Gentle shake the pan so the veal sliders are coated with lemon flavor as the lemon juice evaporates.
     Step 5:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Place 1 Veal Slider Patty on each slider roll "set up" on the plate.
     Place equal amounts of the Sautéed Porcini Mushrooms on top of each slider.
     Lean the slider roll tops against the sliders.

     These are some tasty Gourmet Italian style veal sliders!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Tijuana Dogs ... with Fajita Peppers & Onions

      South Of The Border Gourmet Hot Dogs!
      The gourmet hot dog trend has taken shape in a traditional sense and creativity has ended up playing a minor role in the game.  Most gourmet hot dog stands tend to feature traditional hot dog styles from cities across America.  Creating new gourmet hot dog ideas seems to be something that most gourmet hot dog chefs tend to avoid.  It is not really a matter of creativity, but it has something to do with what customers are willing to try.  Customers are willing to try traditional favorites, like the Chicago Dog, Texas Tommy, a Jersey Ripper or a Detroit Coney, rather than take a chance on something new.
     Fortunately for gourmet hot dog shops, there are plenty of regional hot dog favorites to choose from.  A gourmet regional hot dog that has climbed the ranks in recent years is the Tijuana Dog.  The Tijuana Dog goes by a few other names, but the toppings and buns tend to be more specific on a few similar hot dogs.  Basically, a Tijuana Dog is a bacon wrapped hot dog that is chargrilled, cooked on a griddle or pan fried till it is browned.  A Tijuana Dog is served on a standard hot dog bun, while its cousin, the Sonoran Dog is served on a split Bolillo Roll.    
     A wide variety of Mexican style toppings can be placed on a Tijuana Dog.  Tihuana Dog toppings include standard antojitos toppings, like crema, cheese, salsa, guacamole, avocado, salsa picante, pickled jalapeños, cilantro and onions.  Grilled onions, mayonnaise, tomato, Chile Lime Powder and pineapple are options too.  Refritos or pinto beans are a popular Tijuana Dog topping and they add a hearty flavor.  Fajitas style sautéed peppers and onions are also a nice choice.  Basically, the choice of Tijuana Dog toppings are up to what the vendor offers or what the customer requests.
     Today's Tijuana Dogs recipe is made street food style and the choice of topping is fajita style, peppers, onions and jalapeños.  Sprigs of cilantro add a classic flavor and pickled Chile Guero adds eye appeal.  A Tijuana Dog like this tastes so good, that two dogs are better than one! 

     Tijuana Dogs:
     This recipe yields 2 standard size hot dogs.
     Standard Bun Size Hot Dogs are most often used to make Tijuana Dogs, but Foot Long Hot Dogs are an option.  Standard Hot Dogs are made with beef, pork and chicken and they usually have no casing.  Ballpark brand markets Classic Bun Size Franks.
     Step 1:  Select 2 Classic Bun Size Hot Dogs.
     Wrap each hot dog with 1 thin slice of bacon.
     Use toothpicks to keep the ends of the bacon in place.
     Set the bacon wrapped hot dogs aside.
     Step 2:  Heat a chargrill or ribbed cast iron griddle over medium heat.
     Spit 2 standard hot dog buns open.
     Chargrill the buns till a few grill marks appear.
     Set the toasted hot dog buns aside.
     Step 3:  Place the 2 bacon wrapped hot dogs on the chargrill.
     Grill on all sides till the bacon is browned. 
     Step 4:  Place the Tijuana Dogs on the toasted hot dog buns.
     Place the Tijuana dogs on a plate and keep them warm on a stove top.
     *The Fajitas Peppers & Onions only take a few minutes to make!     

     Tijuana Dogs ... with Fajita Peppers & Onions:
     This recipe yields 2 garnished standard bun size Tijuana Dogs.
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium high heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 1/4 cup of Bermuda Onion strips.  (1/4" wide)
     Add 1/4 cup of mixed green and red bell pepper strips.
     Add 2 sliced green jalapeño peppers.  (3/16" thick)
     Add 1 tablespoon of chopped roasted red bell pepper.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of chopped green onion.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of chopped garlic.
     Quickly sauté till the vegetables start to become tender.
     Step 3:  Add 1 pinch of cumin.
     Add 1 pinch of coriander.
     Add 1 pinch of Spanish Paprika.
     Add 1 pinch of Mexican oregano.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Step 4:  Add 1/4 cup of lager beer.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Rapidly simmer and reduce till most of the liquid evaporates.
     Remove the pan from the heat.
     Step 5:  Place a generous amount of the Fajitas Peppers & Onions topping on the 2 Tijuana Dogs.
     Garnish with cilantro sprigs and 2 Pickled Guero Chile Peppers.
     Garnish the plate with tomato slices and cilantro sprigs. 
     Viola!  Tasty fajita topped Tijuana Dogs!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Turkey Cornish Pasty with Mushroom Gravy

     A Savory Hot Cornish Pasty For A Chilly Day!      
     Today's Turkey Cornish Pasty is similar to an item on the menu at an English Pub that I worked for a few decades ago.  The pub owner was purchasing cheap manufactured frozen Chicken Cornish Pasties and they were not exactly good quality.  In fact, the filling was so skimpy and the amount of meat was so small that it was difficult to tell whether it was chicken or not.  
     After taking over the chef spot in the pub kitchen, I stopped purchasing the cheap Cornish Pasty frozen product.  We started making the menu item Cornish Pasties from scratch.  The fresh Cornish Pasties looked better and tasted better!  Only a Vegetable Cornish Pasty and Chicken Cornish Pasty were on the menu and these items were meant to appeal to health conscious customers.  
     Because chicken was touted as being a healthy meat option nationwide back in those days, food purveyors continually raised the price.  Soon the price of turkey was about half of the price of chicken, so turkey was the better choice from a profitability standpoint.  All it took was replacing chicken with turkey in the recipe, then changing the name of the Cornish Pasty on the menu.  To make the item more appealing, Mushroom Gravy was poured on the plate.  
     On a chilly day, a plated Turkey Cornish Pasty with Mushroom Gravy was simply irresistible and the customers ordered plenty.  Even though many of the British Isle customers never tried turkey before, they sure liked this bird when served in a familiar way.  Basically, it was the Mushroom Gravy that made the difference, because this combination created a level of comfort that can be compared to having an Open Face Turkey Sandwich at an American style diner restaurant.  In a traditional English pub, comfort is the name of the game!  

     Pâte Brisée:
     Admittedly, the pie crust dough in the photos above was actually a frozen product from a grocery store.  This was one of the first Cornish Pasty recipes that I published about 10 years ago and the original goal of my recipe writing back then was to keep things simple for the viewers.  As one can see, the quality of manufactured frozen pie dough from a grocery store was sub-par, so the goal of making things easy for readers went right out the window.  As a result, I no longer recommend frozen dough products.  Making pie dough from scratch is the way to go!  
     If you prefer a proper Cornish Pasty Crust Dough is preferred, then substitute lard for the unsalted butter in the pie dough recipe.  Keep the chilled lard pieces to the size of a pea or less.  Larger pieces of lard would turn the dough into a very flaky Irish Pastry Dough and the Cornish Pasty would then become fragile.  The crust on a Cornish pasty is supposed to be durable!
     Follow the link tothe Pâte Brisée recipe in this website.

     Turkey Filling For Cornish Pasty:
     This recipe yields about 1 1/3 cups.  (Enough for 1 Cornish Pasty.)  
     There are no tricky cooking techniques involved with most British Isle recipes.  This is a very easy filling to make!
     Step 1:  Place 1 quart of water in a sauce pot over medium high heat.
     Bring the water to a boil.
     Step 2:  Add 1/4 cup of diced rutabaga.
     Add 1/4 cup of diced potato.
     Add 1 tablespoon of diced onion.
     Add 1 tablespoon of diced celery.
     Add 1 tablespoon diced carrot.
     Boil till the hard root vegetables just start to become tender.
     Step 3:  Remove the pot from the heat.
     Drain the water off of the vegetables.
     Set the vegetables aside.
     Step 4:  Place a sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Add 4 ounces of ground turkey meat.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of marjoram.
     Sauté till the ground turkey is fully cooked and a few golden highlights appear.  Stir with a whisk and break up any clumps.
     Step 5:  Add the reserved blanched vegetables.
     Add 1/2 cup of water.
     Bring the liquid to a simmer.
     Step 6:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Simmer and reduce till most of the liquid evaporates and the mixture looks fairly dry.
     Step 7:  Remove the pot from the heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of fine plain bread crumbs.
     Stir the ingredients together.
     Step 8:  Allow the stuffing to cool to room temperature.
     Place the Turkey Cornish Pasty Filling in a container.
     Chill in a refrigerator to 41ºF.

     Turkey Cornish Pasty:
     This recipe yields 1 Cornish Pasty.  (Average portion.)
     Step 1:  Roll out a sheet of pâte brisée that is about 3/16" thick.
     Cut a 9 1/2" diameter round sheet.
     Step 2:  Mound the chilled turkey filling on the center of the round pie dough sheet.  Leave about a 3/4" bare border on the edge of the dough sheet.
     Step 3:  Brush the bare border of the dough with egg wash.
     Fold the pastry dough over the stuffing, so it forms a half moon shape.
     Roll and press the edge of the dough, so it resembles a thick handle.
     Step 4:  Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking pan.
     Place the pasty on the parchment paper.
     Brush the pasty with egg wash.
     Poke 1 tiny steam vent hole in the dough where it will not be seen.
     Step 5:  Bake the pasty in a 375ºF oven, till it is a golden brown color.
     Allow the pasty to cool to a safe serving temperature.

     Mushroom Gravy:
     This recipe yields 1 cup.  (2 generous portions)
     The gravy should be started before the pasty goes in the oven.
     Step 1:  Heat a small sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add an equal amount of flour, while stirring constantly with a whisk.  (The roux should look shiny, not caky.)
     Stir till the roux is a light golden color.
     Step 2:  Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth.
     Add 1 cup of mushroom broth.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Stir with a whisk as the gravy comes to a gentle boil.
     *The consistency will be very thin at this time.
     Step 3:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Gently simmer the gravy.
     Step 4:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 6 small Button Cave Mushrooms that are cut in half.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Sauté and sweat the mushrooms till they are tender.
     Step 5:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Add the sautéed mushroom halves to the sauce pot of Mushroom Gravy.
     Step 6:  Gently simmer and reduce till the gravy is medium thin consistency that can coat a spoon.  (The finished volume will be about 1 cup.)
     Keep the gravy warm over very low heat or in a 135ºF bain marie.

     Turkey Cornish Pasty with Mushroom Gravy:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Step 1:  Spoon 1 generous portion of the Mushroom Gravy on a plate.  (About 1/2 cup)
     Use a spoon to push the mushroom halves toward the border of the plate.
     Step 2:  Set the Turkey Cornish Pasty on the gravy.
     Place a vegetable of your choice on the plate.  (Wilted Garlic Spinach or Buttered Carrots are nice choices.)
     No garnish is necessary!

     Turkey Cornish Pasty with Mushroom Gravy is comfortable pub fare!